What Your Child on the Spectrum Really Needs: Advice From 12 Autistic Adults
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What Your Child on the Spectrum Really Needs: Advice From 12 Autistic Adults

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Print Length:
114 pages

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The advice discussed here is easy-to-understand and immediately practical.

This book is different from other autism parenting guides in that the advice mentioned has been generated solely from the autistic individuals themselves, and not from other neurotypical parents, medical professionals, or psychologists.

The contributors have varied backgrounds and professions. They include writers, journalists, students, an IT professional, a stay-at-home mom, a hotel services employee, a relationship coach, a data architect, and analyst, and a Pulitzer- Prize-winning music critic. It attempts to teach neurotypical parents different ways of thinking about their autistic children, with instructions provided by the autistic contributors.

The advice discussed here is easy-to-understand and immediately practical. This book does not attempt to catalog all the different types of therapy and medical interventions that exist. Instead, it prioritizes advice asserted by autistic individuals.

Readers will learn a variety of easy-to-implement advice on communication techniques, addressing sensory issues, behavior correction, facilitating friendships, educational advocacy, teaching self-advocacy skills, supporting the transition to college and the workforce, and more.

This information is especially important to parents and caregivers of autistic children who may not realize how their vigorous attempts to do what is "best" for their children are actually having a negative impact on their social/emotional development. It is based on the personal experiences of the contributors, divulging what has helped or hurt them as they navigated childhood and adulthood as autistic individuals.

The tips offered in this book encourage parents to change the way they think about autism and to help their children develop into confident, independent adults with a positive autistic identity.


"It's easy to forget that adults could not receive an autism diagnosis until the 1990s, and that as a result, autistic children and their parents couldn't benefit from the lived experiences of people on the spectrum.

Jenna Gensic's book marks a profound historical shift -- the beginning of an era when parents can turn to autistic adults, instead of only to neurotypical 'experts, ' for advice on helping their kids navigate and learn to thrive in a world that is often confusing and overwhelming. Gensic has gathered a group of wise autistic elders to offer helpful and practical guidance on a broad array of subjects and challenges. An uplifting and encouraging book."-- Steve Silberman, author, NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity

"This book is very important! One of the questions that I am asked most frequently by parents is, 'How do I parent my child with autism so that he can excel?' What Your Child Really Needs: Advice From 12 Autistic Adults provides the best insight into answering this question. Autistic adults share valuable information, stories, and tips that brilliantly illustrate how to help children experience life's triumphs and overcome obstacles that may be placed in their way. Parents, please read this book!!" -- Brenda Smith Myles, PhD, author, Excelling with Autism: Obtaining Critical Mass Using Deliberate Practice, The Hidden Curriculum: Practical Solutions for Understanding Unstated Rules in Social Situations

"Jenna goes directly to the source - autistic people themselves - to gain greater understanding in what children on the spectrum need. Carefully crafted interviewing gifts the reader with vital insights in promoting fulfilling and productive lives for autistic children by working with their strengths, while remaining realistic about the often significant challenges, that come from being autistic."--Stephen M. Shore, Ed.D, Internationally known educator, author, consultant, and presenter on issues related to autism

"There is a revolution underway that is deconstructing damaging myths, and reconstructing more positive and accurate understandings about the autistic experience. Indisputably, the leaders of this revolution are autistic people who have generously shared their first-hand experiences. In this essential work, Jenna Gensic, a parent-professional and originator of the website, draws from the experience and expertise of 12 autistic adults to take it a step further by offering direct advice for parents and family members. Jenna is to be congratulated for supporting more autistic voices in helping us better understand, support and appreciate the uniqueness of autistic children and adults." --Barry M. Prizant, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Adjunct Professor, Brown University, author, Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism and The SCERTS Model

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